A-provecho: An initiative without waste
Did you know that one third of the food produced in the world ends up in the rubbish? Yes, one out of every three apples you see on the market shelf—to mention one random food item—is thrown away every day around the world. Fortunately, there are many initiatives promoting the zero waste movement, which focus, among other things, on rescuing food that is left halfway in the supply chain.
Motivated by an ethical and environmental problem, the Association of Businesswomen and Professionals of València (Asociación de Empresarias y Profesionales de València, EVAP) decided to launch the A-provecho initiative, with the aim of showing the population that it is possible to avoid food waste from its origin by using those foods that are normally discarded because they have not been sold.
EVAP’s proposal began with the collection of foodstuffs that are discarded every Friday on the Mercavalència Counting Strip, a historical space dating from the 12th century where farmers sell fresh and seasonal products directly. Mercedes Herranz, Consultant in Circular Economy and coordinator of the association’s Committee of Circular Economy, states that “The food that is discarded is not garbage and can—and must—be used. Because, if the food goes into the bin, the resources used for its production also go with it”.
Once the discarded food—which was in perfect condition—was collected, it was distributed to each volunteer restaurant. There, three top-level chefs (Miriam de Andrés, Mª José Martínez and Alejandro del Toro) prepared a first course, a main course and a dessert. Since the initiative coincided with the Great Food Collection organised by the Food Bank of València, the Food Bank was responsible, among other things, for delivering more than 200 rations of the “EVAP Aprovechamiento Menu” to socially vulnerable people.
Despite the complications of carrying out such an action in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposal quickly gained support. “All it took was to publicise the initiative for the people involved in the Counting Strip, top-level chefs and the restaurants of València to offer their help. We are thrilled by the easy way in which people have joined the project“, adds Mercedes.
EVAP will make available on its website the free e-book A-provecho: recetas sin desperdicio [A-provecho: Recipes without Waste]. A book on zero-waste cooking, compiling recipes, tips and easy solutions from València’s most prestigious chefs to reduce food waste. We can enjoy some zero-waste recipes on their YouTube channel.
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